Day: September 5, 2009

accountability, child, corruption, cps, families, financial, funding, government, health, kids, medicaid, medicaid fraud, medical, medication
“Forgotten Children: A True Story of How Politicians Endanger Children.”

By Jason P. Olivarri – Contributing Writer/Southside Reporter02f58cf42f2ebde2

Robert Treviño, a prominent physician and researcher, has fought an uphill battle against the healthcare industry’s ugly side. He tries to expose it in his new book, “Forgotten Children: A True Story of How Politicians Endanger Children.”

Treviño, 58, is president of the South Alamo Medical Group, which operates five clinics in some of San Antonio’s poorest communities.

Treviño said he felt compelled to write “Forgotten Children” to expose the greed, corruption, and favoritism he witnessed at the state and federal levels of the healthcare industry.

“Refraining treatment from an individual to profit is the most unethical greed that I’ve ever seen,” said Treviño, who grew up on San Antonio’s South Side in the Lavaca neighborhood.

Around 10 years ago, Treviño developed the Bienestar/NEEMA school health program with a goal of lowering the odds x of Hispanic children developing Type 2 diabetes.

Treviño’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Health, and he’s published studies that show the benefits of the Bienestar/ NEEMA program.

But Treviño fought for years against state agencies and political forces that he said unfairly favored another school-based program called Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH).

The CATCH program was developed and marketed by physicians from the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston.
Using blood sugar testing, physical education, and informational literature, the Bienestar/NEEMA program strived to show school children, parents and school cafeteria programs the importance of healthy-eating and portion control.

Despite positive results, Treviño said he would have to face and overcome several opponents between 1997 and 2004 before Bienestar/ NEEEMA was instituted in many South Texas school districts.

The Texas Department of Health was the first obstacle. They wouldn’t fund Bienestar/NEEMA’s curriculum.

According to Treviño, they were already leaning toward the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston’s CATCH program.

Though grant review committees are supposed to be non-biased in their decision-making, Treviño said many were already favoring CATCH to where they not only funded it, but also protected it from competition.

Former Texas Department of Health Commissioner Dr. William Archer told Treviño he would never have the Bienestar/NEEMA program in Texas, Treviño said.

Ironically, Archer was also from the Houston area.

“So it was just a very muddy grant process,” Treviño said.

Following a series of remarks Archer made regarding race and letters sent by Treviño questioning his support of CATCH, he eventually resigned, leaving the door open for Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, to take his place.

Sanchez, like Archer, did not last long, resigning after only three years though he gave $4 million to the CATCH program during his tenure.

Shortly thereafter, Sanchez emerged again, this time with a job with the UT-Houston School of Public Health that introduced the CATCH program. As to why CATCH was given such high precedence over Bienestar/NEEMA, Treviño said in his book that much of it had to do with the greed of a $174 billion diabetes healthcare industry.

“So can you imagine if a program (like Bienestar/NEEMA) came that was able to impact and decrease and stop the disease, what would happen to the industry?” Treviño asked.

The Texas Educational Agency (TEA) review board and even the federal Center for Disease Control both influenced the funneling of the annual $17 million for health curriculums to CATCH. They also denied Bienestar/NEEMA and other programs grant funding.

Eventually, the TEA finally gave Treviño permission in 2004 to put Bienestar/NEEMA within Texas school districts.

Above all, Treviño hopes his first-hand account will convince people to take control of their own health as well as their children’s, and not lay that responsibility on the government or pharmaceutical companies.

And in the discovery process, hopefully shed more light on why certain healthcare curriculums were given preference over others.

“I’m hoping the readers, the audience, the new cabinet, our new administration comes into Texas and investigates these events (between Benestar/NEEMA and CATCH),” Treviño said.

For information on purchasing a copy of “Forgotten Children: A True Story of How Politicians Endanger Children,” visit Presa Publishing at 1103 S. Presa St. or call 531-1414. There will also be a book signing from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday at Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant, second floor, 713 S. Alamo St.

accountability, cps, domestic violence, system failure children
We Were Voted in Top 100 for Domestic Violence Blogs!

Top 100 Blogs Award

It’s Almost Tuesday was voted in the Top 100 for Domestic Violence Blogs!  This is a wonderful accomplishment for the work we’re trying to do for our children in foster care and for survivors of domestic violence.

A victim recently reached out to the newly appointed White House VAWA Advisor, Lynn Rosenthal and during the conversation, Rosenthal stated, “I can’t do nothing to help your situation.” Rosenthal continued by saying, “the Vice President is very concerned on this topic and I relay your situation to him.”

The Womens Legal Resource Blog reports the same sentiments as we feel about it, concern and a diminished faith in the system.

We invite you to read the comment placed by this victim, Heather Thompson at the article titled Working with the White House to keep victims from falling through the cracks by Alexis A. Moore, another advocate who is the owner of Survivors in Action, and an expert in cyberstalking, stalking, and domestic violence.

When domestic violence resources fail, victims die. Family law and criminal courts are failing victims nationwide.

When a victim of domestic violence has to write a letter like the following letter – something is wrong:

I know that when I went through it—I had no support from friends or family—nor from the law—I had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn and I felt it was my fault and that I deserved it. When you are not valued as a child, when you are abused physically, emotionally, sexually and mentally you have no basis to believe it should or could be any other way. I felt it was my lot in life. Where do you go with 4 small babies at 19 years old, without an education, without any money, without any help or support, coming from an abusive family and where he will not find you? How did a 19 year old get into a fix like that in the first place?
It’s always about how little she is worth compared to how valuable he is and she has been born and bred to believe she is less valuable then he!

There is the whole thing in a nutshell.

Some of us make it out alive—some of us don’t—but none of us make it out without deep scars. Can’t we put aside everything else to stop this now? We are at epidemic proportions- they are killing us figuratively and physically- violence against women is a hate crime. Both my daughters were victims of violence. The cases are pending and I am not able to discuss these issues at present. Two sons-in-law are in jail. My oldest daughter Denise 45 passed 3/7/09. My youngest, Louisa 41 , remains hospitalized to date. It’s cyclical—daughters raised in these households go on to be abused—sons go on to abuse. From birth to death women must be valued.

—BJ, mother of domestic violence homicide victim
When resources fail, victims die.

Or when a woman makes a video documentary “just in case something happens to her” – something is very wrong.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek37imbFbIA&feature=player_embedded]

I pleaded for help before my son was taken.  I took a stack of police reports proving numerous violations of my protective order into the victims/witness office at my State Attorneys office, and was told my case was too complicated and escorted out.

I haven’t seen my son in 4 years.

Something is very wrong.